I will readily admit to being a huge fan of ABC’s show Castle. I really enjoyed the show FireFly back in the day and so when I saw Nathan Fillion was going to be on a new show I gave it a shot and have never looked back. The main character of the show, Richard Castle (Fillion), is an author that works with the NYPD to get an idea of how real homicide detectives work for his books, of which he writes about one per season of the show. What ABC did, which was very smart in my opinion, is actually release the books mentioned in the show as real books. Fans can even go to Richard Castle’s website and see his progress on books and the “cases” (episodes) he is helping to work on.
The latest release from Richard Castle is a graphic novel adaptation of his book Deadly Storm, which within the show was his first Derrick Storm novel. The art for this book was done by Lan Medina who also does the art for the wonderful Vertigo title Fables Kelly Sue DeConnick who has penned numerous Marvel titles does the writing.
The book starts out with Derrick waxing poetic about how wonderful his life isn’t. He’s sitting in the bushes outside of a trailer taking photos of a cheating husband for his client, the wife. The entry point into Derrick’s life feels natural and very familiar to fans of the Mystery genre like myself. From there the story naturally evolves and we meet several characters that feel as though they will be ongoing points of interest throughout further books. There were a couple of spots where the story or wording of the characters seemed a bit stilted but in general it was very engaging and the art worked wonderfully to bring the story to life. The ending was also very satisfying but it left a lot of questions unanswered and makes me hope that more of the Derrick Storm books will be “adapted” in the future.
After the story several pages from the book are shown from conception (text only from the writer), to penciling through to completed pages. It is always interesting to see how comics come together and these were fun to look through after I had finished reading the story.
Going into this knowing I was already a big fan of Castle I was predisposed to like this book, but I also had high expectations for the same reason. It is obvious as you first open Deadly Storm that lots of work and love went into creating this graphic novel. The art is amazing and somehow manages to capture the demeanor of Richard Castle. There were a couple of panels where I thought to myself, “Castle would have drawn it that way”, which was gratifying and to me showed that the artist had spent some time studying and thinking about how this story should be told. The writing was on par with your average mystery novel and the plot twists and turns made it well above average. Overall this was a great read. I’m sure I will reread it at least once and I can’t wait to see if the other books are given this same treatment.